Facetime Alternatives: 7 Apps for Video Chatting on the iPhone

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iPhone video chat apps

If you want to video chat with friends who don't use an iPhone, then you need to look beyond Facetime. These alternative apps let you video chat, text and make calls with less restrictions.

Video calling has been an integral feature of the iPhone ever since the introduction of the iPhone 4. The device includes software for making video calls; Apple's FaceTime is included by default on every iPhone sold. Although it works terrifically, there are some limitations to FaceTime. For example, connections without WiFi are determined by your carrier - Verizon users have it, AT&T not so much. Another drawback of FaceTime is that it can only be used to make video calls with other Apple users, so video calls to Android or Windows users are out of the question.

Developers have filled the void, though, and released apps with more functionality than FaceTime. Some offer the ability to chat over 3G, and others allow for group chats. Here are six of the best iPhone apps for making video calls. 

FriendCaller Video Chat (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
4
FriendCaller Video Chat
Developer: C2Call GmbH
Price: free Download on the App Store

Features may be a weakness of FaceTime, but they're a strength of FriendCaller. The app lets iPhone owners talk with up to 7 friends at once, and supports calling over 3G and 4G networks. On top of this, it's cross-platform: FriendCaller is supported not just on the iPhone, but also on other iOS devices, Android, and PCs. Rounding out the list of features is the ability to use the app for voice calls and text messaging. It's a free app and well worth a download from the App Store.

Tango Text, Voice & Video (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
4.5
Tango Text, Voice & Video
Developer: TangoMe, Inc.
Price: free Download on the App Store

Like FriendCaller, Tango allows for video calls over cellular networks and Wi-Fi. If you want to chat with someone who doesn't have Tango installed, the app also lets you send video messages. What makes the app truly unique is the emphasis that the developer placed on extra features. Tango features animations in its video calls, international calls to other users and more.

Qik Video (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
4
Qik Video
Developer: Skype Communications S.a.r.l
Price: free Download on the App Store

A product from Skype, the focus of Qik is on quality and compatibility. It works with almost any iOS device that has a camera, and claims to have 93% compatibility with Android devices. The app offers iPhone owners HD-quality video messages and claims to have higher resolution in its video chat than any other app. Qik, like Tango, offers real-time effects. It also lets users save clips and sync them to their desktop for later viewing. Best of all, people who download the free version now will receive Qik Premium features at no charge.

Skype for iPhone (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
2.5
Skype for iPhone
Developer: Skype Communications S.a.r.l
Price: free Download on the App Store

Skype is probably the most well-known app on this list when it comes to brands. Initial versions of the app were met with heavy criticism, although updates have corrected most of the initial issues. One major advantage of the app is that it already has a large user base; iPhone owners can install the app on their iPhones and start making video calls to everyone they know who has a Skype account. It also has a cleaner interface than most of its competitors, so it has enough benefits that it's worth checking out.

fring (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
4
fring
Developer: fringland Ltd.
Price: free Download on the App Store

iPhone owners looking for a way to make video calls to owners of Android devices will want to take a look at Fring. The app is available on multiple smartphone platforms, and it has enough features to make it worth a download. Free video chat, group video chat and text messaging are all included. Calls to landlines and mobile phones are available using fringOut credits.

ooVoo Video Call, Text and Voice (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
4.5
ooVoo Video Call, Text and Voice
Developer: oovoo LLC
Price: free Download on the App Store

In the crowded world of video chat, ooVoo entices users by relying on a balance of popular features. iPhone owners can sign-in with their Facebook account to skip the process of setting up a profile and begin making calls to friends from their built-in or FB address book. HD video calls with up to 4 people are supported, and the app features a very intuitive interface.

UberConference (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
5
UberConference
Developer: FireSpotter, Inc.
Price: free Download on the App Store

ÜberConference is an audio conferencing app targeted at the suit-and-tie crowd. Even though it's mainly for business users, this app could work just as well for video chatting with friends or family — especially if you have a large a group. ÜberConference allows 5 callers on the line by default for free, or 40 users for the Pro account. The app ties into social media accounts to provide extra information about each caller via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+. This could be very cool; just remember to double-check the privacy settings on your accounts.

Do you make video calls from your iPhone or iPad? Which app has the best connection for the best price?

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